The Joseph Rowntree School

Free School Meals

How do you qualify for free school meals? 

It is a well known fact that school meals are important not just for nutrition but also for helping students to learn thus helping them to achieve their full potential.  School meals also save you from having to worry about the effort and expense of making packed lunches every day. 

Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish the phase of schooling (primary or secondary) they’re in on 31 March 2023.


How to apply: 

For more information on entitlement visit 

If you think your child should be receiving free school meals, take proof of entitlement into your child’s school.  All information will be dealt with sensitively and confidentially by the school.  The school endeavours to encourage and support both parents and students in every child’s well being.  By applying for free school meals, the school is also able to access other benefits to support student’s further such as, for example, the pupil premium. 


How would your child access the Free School Meal? 

We operate a cashless catering system in school. All students are given an identity card when they join us. This card also doubles up to allow access to school printers and to make purchases from our catering facilities. The Free School Meal allowance is downloaded automatically onto an eligible students account and payment for food is made in exactly the same way as all other students. It is completely confidential; no-one can tell if a student is having a Free School Meal. 

If you require any further information on free school meals, please do not hesitate to contact the school at


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